Whether it's for business or personal reasons, we all need to send money abroad from time to time.

But if you've ever tried to use your bank's international transfer option, you'll know it's a complicated, multi-step process, and can take days for your moolah to reach its destination - plus the fees can be really steep.

There is a better way, however, thanks to the multitude of apps that make it quick, easy and cheap to send and receive payments.

Ahead of holiday season, these are our top five picks for whizzing wonga across the globe.

Azimo

Offering major savings compared to high street banks, Azimo is an app for iPhone and Android that enables transfers to more than 190 countries - the widest reach of any service - as well as 270,000 cash pick up locations worldwide. Now, Azimo has made it even easier with a new in-app mobile feature. Users only need to know the mobile number of a recipient in order to send money (www.azimo.com).

Pingit

Originally intended solely for Barclays customers, this mobile transfer app was extended to include most banks and building societies. Available for iPhone, Android and Windows phone, the app links your mobile number, and allows you to 'ping' up to £2,000 a day to more than 35 countries (www.pingit.com).

Worldremit

Via app or website, WorldRemit covers around 125 countries, and includes mobile airtime top-ups and cash pick-ups as well as instant digital transfers. Turn on push notifications and you can keep track of exchange rates to find the best time to send your currency. The app is available for iPhone and Android (www.worldremit.com).

Transferwise

Highly rated TransferWise boasts that it's up to eight times cheaper than using a high street bank because there's no mark-up on the exchange rate. Their fee is clearly displayed, as is the saving you've made. The service is available in 59 countries, online and as an iPhone or Android app (www.transferwise.com).

World First

For payments of at least £1,000, WorldFirst offers a Best Exchange Rate guarantee, promising to beat any quote from a bank or foreign exchange. You can wire money to over 100 countries via the website, iPhone or Android app (www.worldfirst.com).

Read more: 12 ways your smartphone can save you money

Money Transfer written on board